Millennial Mu Mu- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: Millennial Mu Mu
Date: October 1997
Journal: Select
Author: Andrew Perry and Sam Upton
Type of resource: Features
Status: text
No. views: 7287
Description: generic return of the KLF news feature, but also features lots of information about Jeremy Dellar and pictures of Acid Brass recording sessions


Millennial Mu Mu

By Andrew Perry and Sam Upton (October 1997, Select)

What time do you call this? The KLF return with a gameplan to take them into the next century. "They're back," ran an ad in Time Out on August 21. "The creators of trance, the lords of ambient, the kings of stadium house, the godfathers of techno-metal - the greatest rave band in the world, ever. The KLF, for one life only."

Near that ad was another message linked only in the minds of those familiar with such capital letter intrigue. "Jeremy Deller presents 1997 - what the fuck's going on?" it exhorted mysteriously. "Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond invite you to a 23-minute performance during which the next 840 days of our lives will be discussed. Barbican Main Hall Tues 2 September. Millennium Crisis Line: 0890 9002000."

They told us they wouldn't de doing this EVER, but it seems The KLF are coming back. The last thing heard from Messrs Cauty and Drummond was their announcement , towards the end of 1996, of a 23-year moratorium banning themselves from discussing the reasons why they burnt a million pounds on the Isle of Jura in Scotland in 1994. The moratorium was unfathomably celebrated by distributing 6237 cans of Tennent's Super from the back of a lorry to London's street drinkers on Christmas Eve. Since then, nothing.

But The KLF have rescinded their retirement agreements before. Five years ago full-page adverts appeared pronouncing: "For the foreseeable future, there will be no further record releases fromany past, present or future name attached to our activities." By May 1993 they'd recorded a piece with the Red Army Choir called 'K Cera Cera (War Is Over If You Want It)'.

When Warchild's 'Help' album was released in 1995, it was obvious to any close observer of pop who was behind the comic-epic cover of 'Theme From The Magnificent Seven' by The One World Orchestra Featuring The Massed Pipes And Drums Of The Children's Free Revolutionary Volunteer Guard.

Predictably, intrigue again surrounds this latest KLF project. It has emerged, however, that 1992's 'foreseeable future' has now officially elapsed and they are to release a one-off single on 23 September - a version of their classic 'What Time Is Love?'

Clues as to the exact nature of this already much rehashed KLF flagship tune lie in that second Time Out ad. Jeremy Deller is a young British artist cum pop-art prankster who has designed T-shirts worn by Richey Manic and Courtney Love, and who memorably pasted a load of posters around London advertising such improbable exhibitions as 'The Art of Baggy' and 'Keith Moon: A Retrospective'.

Earlier this year, he staged Acid Brass, a couple of events where he had Williams Fairey Engineering Brass Band playing eight classic acid house tunes - thus uniting arguably Britain's two most popular instrumental musics. Drummond learnt of Jeremy's intention to cover 'What Time Is Love?' and attended rehearsals in Liverpool.

Since then, Deller has been in close collaboration with Drummond who, come the London concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall, relayed the sound down the phone to Cauty. Where many would be daunted by The KLF's apparently unhinged methods and air of secrecy, Jeremy is enthusiastic about his new playmates.

"Bill's a naturally inquisitive person," he explains. "he was into what we were doing both as music and political statement. They both said they wanted to do a version of our version of 'What Time Is Love?' "

Recording began in July and Deller, a self-confessed non-musician, was in on the production process. "It's very different from their original," he states. "Very hard, really really hard. When they played it to me, they said that it was the best thing that they'd ever done. But it has no concessions to anything in toning it down. It's an epic above all other epics. It's brought out sinister, darker elements of the song that they always knew were there but had maybe been sunk a bit in the production."

So why have they done it?

"It's all about seeing what's going on at the moment," reckons Jeremy, "and trying to cut through the bullshit. They've always managed to hit certain soft spots or raw nerves in the media and manipulate them. It's the same with this record - there's definitely a message in there."

Quite what the message is, he isn't prepared to say at this stage, but some indication will be given when The KLF deliver the promised 23-minute "performance" at the Barbican, where they're to discuss "the next 840 days of our lives" - the approximate number of days remaining until the Millennium.

While nobody at the Barbican itself is prepared to divulge the exact nature of the evening, it's known that this will be a one-off and the whole event is to be transmitted around the globe by satellite. The video for the single will also be shot there, further increasing the night's potential legendary status.

But there's one thing the band are making clear via their press spokesman: in no way does it mean that The KLF are back in the music industry (if indeed they were ever in it) so no-one should expect lengthy tours and extensive interviews. Given Bill and Jimmy's erratic track record, it would be unwise to have any expectations at all.

Whether you think they're genuine art mavericks shaking up the pre-millennial system or simply over-educated men with too much time and money on their hands, their penchant for the dramatic cannot be denied. Just look upon it as one of the musical and cultural events of the year and savour the moment.

Photos:
Bill and Jimmy point with fingers and (real) horns
Williams Fairey Brass Band in action
Deller "celebrates clever art prank"



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